The Highlands, a combination of flat and steep terrain featuring several different microclimates, including cloud forests and rainforests, present a unique opportunity to see a large number of bird families and species in a relatively small land area. Rivers, springs and agricultural lands consisting of beautiful flower gardens, vegetable farms and coffee plantations speckle this region of Western Panamá.
Guided trips to Highland locations highlight the river valleys surrounding Boquete (1,100 meters) and Panamás breadbasket, the town of Cerro Punta (2,000 meters), located above Volcán on the Western face of Volcán Barú.
Species You Might See
Birders will see Euphonias, Tanagers, Hummingbirds, Warblers, Thrushes, Flycatchers, Woodcreepers, Trogons, Hawks, Eagles and many more. Rarer or seasonal sightings include the Resplendent Quetzal, Costa Rican Pygmy Owl and the Three-wattled Bellbird, who returns to the Highlands from February to June to breed.
Because the Chiriquí Highlands include both sides of Volcán Barú, the area is divided into two tour options:
1) Chiriquí Highlands Boquete: This is a half-day guided trip of the river valleys and trails around Boquete on the Eastern side of Volcán Barú. Departure time is 7 am with an end time around 11:30 am. This trip typically includes 2-3 stops and ends before lunch. If you would like to pack a picnic to eat in a lovely spot, this is absolutely possible! Feel free to combine birding with sightseeing or hiking.
2) Chiriquí Highlands Cerro Punta: This is a full-day guided trip to the agricultural lands surrounding the towns of Volcán and Cerro Punta, on the Western face of Volcán Barú. Departure time is 5:30 am to accommodate the 1.5 hour drive time around the volcano to your birding destination. This trip typically includes 2-3 stops and does not include lunch. If you would like to pack a picnic or stop at a local restaurant, just let Jason know. Return time is between 5-6 pm, but can be longer depending on early evening bird activity.
You are encouraged to dress comfortably and wear walking shoes. A rain jacket is also a good idea, as a combination of mist and rain called bajareque is Western Panamá’s most common weather event. Cameras, binoculars, bird guides and snacks are welcome. Jason will bring a scope.
- Transportation is provided to and from your location in Boquete.
- Groups from Caldera, David, Los Molinos, etc. are a small additional cost.
- Groups of 1-5 will ride in Jason’s Toyota Land Cruiser.
- Groups of 5-8 will ride in a small van.
- A maximum of 8 is passengers is ideal for birding trips.
A morning of birding typically ranges, depending on location and number in your party. Because birding trips are customized to meet the personal goals of the birder, such as finding a specific species or list of birds, contact Jason for a quote or to make a reservation.
Cost includes transportation, all entrance fees and a bottle of water per person.
Making A Reservation
If you are already in Boquete and want to go birding in the next 24-48 hours, it’s best to call Jason directly for availability at +507.6718.6279.
If you are planning your trip and want to discuss trip details, inquire about cost or make a reservation for a later date, contact Jason via email.
Payment is made in cash on the day of the trip. Confirmation is available via email if desired. Unfortunately, Panamá is not yet equipped to use PayPal or provide credit card services for very small businesses, so guides work together with customers in good faith.
Please refer to Jason’s excellent 5-star rating and positive reviews on TripAdvisor for confirmation of his trustworthiness and experience.
Please provide Jason at least 72-hours notice in the event of a cancellation.